University of California, Riverside

University Honors

Faculty Mentor of the Year

Faculty Mentors for 2013-2014

Faculty mentors play a critical role in supporting and guiding students through the thesis process. Mentors start off as people with expertise that guide academic and professional growth, in time friendships are developed and both the mentor and mentee gain personal growth from the relationship. Each year University Honors requests nominations from Honors students to recognize faculty who have made an impact on their educational experience. The Faculty Mentors of the Year are recognized at the University Honors Year End Celebration each Spring quarter.

Rebekah Richert
Dr. Rebekah A. Richert
Associate Professor of Psychology 

Dr. Richert's research interests involve examining how cultural factors and children's developing social cognition influence their understanding of religion, fantasy, and media. Three major areas of focus in her lab include: 1) How parents' engagement with their young children in shared religious activities, such as prayer and rituals, structures children's developing concepts of God and supernatural causality. 2) The role of parasocial relationships with screen characters (televised, avatars) for very young children's learning of STEM concepts, in particular mathematics and engineering related concepts. 3) How children's developing ability to distinguish fantasy from reality is related to their learning of material presented in fantasy contexts (storybooks, DVDs, etc.).

Wendy Saltzman
Dr. Susan Zieger
Associate Professor of English

Dr. Zieger researches and teaches nineteenth-century British and American literature and culture with a special interest in popular forms such as the novel. Her book, Inventing the Addict: Drugs, Race, and Sexuality in Nineteenth-Century British and American Literature (University of Massachusetts Press), describes how metaphors of addiction such as exile, self-enslavement, and disease circulated through literature and culture to forge the new identity of the addict.


Past Faculty Mentors of the Year

  • 2012-2013
    Dr. Tanya Nieri, Sociology
    Dr. Wendy Saltzman, Biology
  • 2011-2012
    Dr. Heidi Brevik-Zender, Comparative Literature and Foreign Languages
    Dr. Eugene A. Nothnagel, Botany and Plant Sciences
  • 2010-2011
    Dr. Kate Sweeny, Psychology
    Dr. Byron Adams, Music
  • 2009-2010
    Dr. Victor Rodgers, Bioengineering
    Dr. Joel Sachs, Biology
  • 2008-2009
    Dr. Tuppet Yates, Psychology
    Dr. Xuan Liu, Biochemistry
  • 2007-2008
    Dr. Steven Clark, Psychology
    Dr. Michael Marsella, Chemistry
  • 2006–2007
    Dr. Scott Brooks, Sociology
    Dr. Vladimir Parpura, Neuroscience
  • 2005–2006
    Dr. Antoine Yoshinaka, Political Science
    Dr. Ross Parke, Psychology
  • 2004-2005
    Dr. Deborah Wong, Music
    Dr. Giovanni Galizia, Biochemistry
  • 2003-2004
    Dr. Alexandra Maryanski, Sociology
    Dr. Michael Dunn, Biochemistry
  • 2002-2003
    Dr. Susan Straight, Creative Writing
    Dr. Prudence Talbot, Neuroscience
  • 2001-2002
    Dr. Conrad Rudolph, History of Art
    Dr. Margarita Curras-Collazo, Neuroscience
  • 2000-2001
    Dr. William H. Okamura, Chemistry
    Dr. Stephen Vargo, Marketing
  • 1999-2000
    Thomas H. Morton, Chemistry
    Sonja Lyubomirsky, Psychology
  • 1998-1999
    Barbara Tinsley, Psychology

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